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News & Press: Litigation

COPAA Joins Lawsuit to Protect Students From New Title IX Regulations

Thursday, May 14, 2020   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Denise Marshall

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP filed a lawsuit today to block provisions of the U.S. Department of Education’s new Title IX rule, which will slash schools’ obligations to respond to reports of sexual harassment and assault. The rule subjects reports of sexual harassment to a different and more skeptical review than reports of harassment based on race, national origin, or disability — creating a second-class standard for reports of sexual harassment and assault. The department itself anticipates that four-year institutions will now investigate 32 percent fewer reports of sexual harassment and assault.


The suit was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Know Your IX,  Girls for Gender Equity, and Stop Sexual Assault in Schools - all organizations dedicated to helping students who experience sexual harassment and assault continue their education.


The plaintiffs are challenging provisions in the DeVos Title IX regulations that:

  • Redefine sexual harassment to exclude conduct that until now was included in the department’s definition and that would be recognized as harassment if based on race, national origin, or disability;
  • Direct schools to ignore many Title IX reports of sexual harassment and assault that occur off campus or during study abroad, including in student’s homes;
  • Require college and university students to report sexual harassment or assault to the “right” official or their complaints do not have to be even investigated; and
  • Allow — and, in some cases, require — schools to use a higher standard of proof for reports of sexual harassment and assault than is required for other harassment proceedings.


The U.S. Department of Education released the final rule on May 6, 2020.


Read the full ACLU press release.



Peter Attwood says...
Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Very nice. It should give us some help in filing against OCR for refusing to enforce the right to a Section 504 hearing, which we have run into here first in San Francisco and then the Seattle office. Any advice and help would be welcome.

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